"Art is for art’s sake with glass and its play with light. We like working with both glass and light whether in a sculpture or an element in architecture."
- Joel Berman
Revolutionizing glass art today, the name Joel Berman is synonymous with innovative and creative glass design. Breaking the rules of convention, Joel Berman has devoted more than 30 years into creating works of original art in glass that explore texture, pattern, colour, shape and form, as well as developing new techniques in glass forming and graphic application on glass. At the forefront of industry trends, Berman continues to grow as a designer and industry leader and is constantly seeking new ways to reinvent the world of glass design.
Inheriting his love of the arts, Berman was first inspired by his grandfather, a watchmaker who immigrated to Canada from Romania. Growing up in Winnipeg surrounded by the craftsmanship of his family’s jewelry business, Berman looked up to his grandfather who supported his family through his craft. His love of handcrafted artisanal trades encouraged him to begin working in glass in the late 1970’s in Winnipeg. Here he trained under Ernest Ashcroft, a graduate of Royal College of Art, London, England, who instructed Berman in traditional leaded glass design and fabrication, dalle de verre and glass painting. Pursuing his fine arts education Berman also studied at the Pilchuk Design Center learning fused glass, sandblast and acid-etch techniques and design from industry leaders Ludwig Schaffrath, and Klaus Moje of West Germany as well as Anne Warff of Sweden. After settling down in Vancouver to open his own studio, Joel Berman Glass Studios, in 1980, Berman also attended the Banff School of Fine Arts, where he trained in architectural glass design under the direction of Johannes Schreiter.
Since the beginning of his journey as a glass artist, Joel has held that art must be made more accessible to the public. To achieve accessibility of his own art, he has pursued public placement opportunities to build works in glass that reflect the design intent, the project objectives, and will capture the hearts and minds of the community’s residents and visitors. He has been honored to have his work selected for numerous public art projects varying in terms of their size, scope, complexity and design, including several projects for international airports.
Today, an avid member of the Vancouver arts community, Joel Berman Glass Studios employs a staff of over 40 talented local designers, artisans, technologists and support staff. Berman Glass Studios operates a manufacturing facility outside of Vancouver, BC and a showroom at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.